He Said What?

Happy Wednesday! I’ve decided it’s high time we all get to know the WIPpeteers a bit better. Don’t you agree? To that end, I’m lining up interviews with each and every one of them. (So, if you’re a WIPpeteer and didn’t see an e-mail from me last week, check your spam box.) I’ll be posting the first one Friday so make sure you stop by and see who my Special Guest will be.

Onto my WIPpet. As promised, I’m giving you more of CB. It’s 21 (short) paragraphs from page 20 (according to my Word doc). I know it’s not the 21st, but I couldn’t very well leave off the last line so consider it a bonus. As another added bonus, I’ll give you some background so you’re not floundering. This is a flashback scene. There are many interspersed through CB that give us a look at Driev’s childhood, and provide clues as to why he is how he is. Andel is Driev’s best friend. He’s two years younger than Driev, but slightly taller. In this particular scene, the boys are literally slumming. They’ve gone to the Runoff, the worst part of the city of Mossrae, because Andel has a crush on a girl there. This excerpt employs probably my most extensive use of the thieves cant I mentioned last week.

“You pair o’ dandy prats are outta yer depth.”

Andel and I stopped in our tracks and I cocked a look up at him without turning to address the voice behind us. Andel rolled his eyes.

“Fine,” he said. “My fault. Totally my fault.”

“We’ll be late now,” I said.

He spread his hands to the side. “What do you want me to do, Dri? I said it’s my fault.”

I glanced over my shoulder to the mouth of the alley where four Runoff ruffians had spread out to block our exit. “Give us a moment, won’t you?”

The biggest one, the one slapping a leather-wrapped club into the palm of his hand, paused in the attempted intimidation, then barked out a laugh. “Hear that, lads? They need a moment.”

Chuckles erupted from the rest.

“Mean to whine?” asked another.

“P’raps they’s madge culls lookin’ fer a last swive,” said a third, which brought another round of hooting and laughing.

I turned full around, my hands on my hips. “I have absolutely no idea what in the thirteen hells you’re jabbering about.”

“Let me clear it then.” The big one with the club took a couple steps toward us. He gestured at us with his weapon. “Yer in our house and we don’t much care fer yer kind. So we’ll take what yer holding, give ya a dubbing so’s to keep it fresh, then let you stagger, savvy?”

Andel leaned toward me. “What did he say?”

I shrugged. They were older than us. Except maybe the skinniest one that kept ducking looks out into the street. He may have been closer to Andel’s thirteen years. They all had clubs in their hands, some with more padding than others. I may not have been able to interpret their words, but their intent seemed obvious.

“I think we’re being robbed,” I said.

“Oh.” Andel sighed and ran a hand through his hair. “I’m sorry, Dri. Coming to the Runoff was my idea. But you’ve seen Willa. She’s beautiful.”

“She’s a lovely child,” I said. “And you’re a lovely boy. And now you’re about to get all that loveliness beat out of you unless you can pull your head out of your trousers.”

“Are you two ’bout done?” the leader asked.

I glared at him. “This is a bad idea. You know that, right?”

“Why’s that?”

“Because you’re going to wind up dead,” I said.

Okay, go forth and WIPpet. Then come back Friday and meet . . .

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38 responses

  1. Ohh awesome idea Kathi! Can’t wait to meet them all!

    November 20, 2013 at 5:12 am

    • Gah! Comment sent early — great WIP!! Love the set up, and great fun with the dialects 😀

      November 20, 2013 at 5:15 am

      • I love reading through the thieves cant and trying to come up with sentences. Some of it I just wing.

        November 20, 2013 at 5:16 am

    • They are a great bunch. 🙂 And I’m not just saying that so they’ll continue to be happy little minions.

      Okay. Yes, yes, I am.

      No! Sorry, sometimes the flying monkeys steal my log in. *bad monkeys!*

      November 20, 2013 at 5:15 am

  2. Readers love self-confident characters, especially those who can’t believe they’re actually getting their butts kicked when they know they’re superior to their assailants.

    November 20, 2013 at 6:11 am

    • Yes, and poor Driev for all his talent gets his butt kicked quite frequently.

      November 20, 2013 at 7:09 pm

  3. “And now you’re about to get all that loveliness beat out of you unless you can pull your head out of your trousers.”

    That is just… lovely. 🙂

    November 20, 2013 at 7:48 am

    • (and I can’t even explain how excited I am to see all of the WIPpeteers’ interviews. That was a great idea!)

      November 20, 2013 at 7:49 am

      • I meant to do the interviews several months ago but, well, Life intervened dang nabbit.

        I love the loveliness line. It’s one of my personal favorites.

        November 20, 2013 at 7:10 pm

  4. Oh!! Love this scene and the lingo!!!! Love the punch of that ending line too!!!!

    November 20, 2013 at 8:55 am

    • Which is exactly why I had to include it as a bonus. The scene loses a bit without it.

      November 20, 2013 at 7:11 pm

  5. great excerpt. Loved the last couple of lines especially.

    November 20, 2013 at 9:58 am

  6. Great excerpt Kathi. Love the last line and the fact that Driev and Andel are completely unconcerned about the impending fight. The girl must be one pretty lady!

    November 20, 2013 at 11:47 am

    • When you’re extremely over-confident you tend to be unconcerned by such trivial matters as being outnumbered. 😉

      November 20, 2013 at 7:12 pm

  7. WIPpeteers interviews? Oh. boy… 😉

    Driev has this way about him, don’t he. So does Willa like her men a bit on the roughed up side?

    November 20, 2013 at 2:02 pm

    • You got an e-mail from me, right?

      November 20, 2013 at 5:36 pm

      • Just checked spam folder… yep. Will look at it tomorrow though, on to bed now.

        November 20, 2013 at 9:07 pm

      • Eek . . . spammed . . . just don’t fry me with butter and it’s all good. 😉

        November 21, 2013 at 5:01 am

  8. I like the dialect as well as the dialogue. I feel the heat of the fight ready to explode. Had to see a pretty boy damaged. You’ve got my attention. 😀

    November 20, 2013 at 3:20 pm

    • This pretty boy gets damaged quite a bit. He just can’t seem to keep himself out of trouble. Not that he really tries all that hard, though.

      November 20, 2013 at 7:13 pm

  9. GREAT excerpt, Kathi! Atmosphere, conflict, surprise, it’s all there.

    I still haven’t gotten around to the interview, but I will, I promise!

    November 20, 2013 at 5:23 pm

    • Thanks, Ruth. 🙂 No worries, I have two interviews in so you have a little breathing room.

      November 20, 2013 at 5:34 pm

  10. Love, love, love, the dialogue here! It’s so colorful and rough! Great scene!

    November 20, 2013 at 7:29 pm

    • It’s hard to write in thieves’ cant. There aren’t complete sources of it so I’m forced to piece it together. But it’s quite fun and I keep thinking of Oliver Twist. 😀

      November 21, 2013 at 5:01 am

  11. Can’t wait to read all the people’s interviews. 🙂 Maybe I’m a special sort of evil, but I would have left off the last line. It would drive the WIPpeteers mad! Love the thieves’ cant. Really well done and used.

    November 21, 2013 at 9:58 am

    • Yes, you are a special kind of evil. Hee, hee. My kind. Mwahahahahaha It will drive people nuts anyhow as this is where the flashback ends. Maybe we find out later, much later, what happened in that alley. And, maybe not.

      November 22, 2013 at 4:58 am

  12. Jae

    Oh, I like that threat right at the end. Great place to cliffhang us. 😀

    November 21, 2013 at 11:28 am

    • Thank you. I do so love a good hanging. . . er . . . cliffhanger. 😉

      November 22, 2013 at 4:58 am

  13. Love the zinger at the end. 🙂 I’d love a translation of the thieves’ cant. I think I followed most of it, but I’m not quite sure…

    November 21, 2013 at 8:06 pm

    • Translation: Whine = cry, complain The next sentence mentioning ‘madge culls’ suggests that the boys are lovers and ducking into the alley for a quick liaison. Then the last line, well, good thing I looked because it should be “drubbing” with an ‘r’, pretty much tells them they’re in the wrong neighborhood, so these nice fellows with the clubs are going to take what they have, give them a bit of a beating so they remember to stay clear, then send them on their way.

      November 22, 2013 at 5:06 am

      • 🙂 Woohoo! I followed it pretty well, then. You did a really great job implying all of that without using understandable words. VERY impressive. 😀

        November 22, 2013 at 2:41 pm

  14. This was yummier than the mint cookies I was going to grab before I stopped to read it! I think I love Driev. Swagger and skill can take you far in life, if not very tidily…

    The ratcheting tension was so real, I’m sitting here on edge, waiting for the resolution that hasn’t come yet….argh! The sweet misery!

    The details made a very clear image in my mind – I can hear the sound the club makes in the palm…

    I’ll get the interview back as soon as I can. Winding down my NaNo, then homeschool reports, and then taking things as they come for the rest of the yeat. A perfect time to do an interview!

    And it’s as good an idea now as a few months back! =D

    November 22, 2013 at 3:16 am

    • I’m glad Driev is getting some love. 🙂 He deserves it even though no one else thinks so. *sigh* I’m so mean to my characters.

      Go NaNo!!! 😀 You’ve got a busy couple weeks.

      November 22, 2013 at 5:08 am

  15. This is a great excerpt! I love the language of the ruffians, and the dialogue between the two leads as well.

    I didn’t get an email from you! Actually, it’s possible that I did, but it got lost somewhere in the I’m-travelling-and-can’t-deal-with-all-these-emails! Apocalypse. Could we try again?

    November 22, 2013 at 10:13 am

    • I will re-send that e-mail this weekend and mark it with a red exclamation point! 🙂

      November 22, 2013 at 12:43 pm

  16. I love the dialogue in here and the playback between the thieves and driev, and that last line WAS a bonus. *is happy* I will get that e-mail filled out over the weekend. I have taken a few happy days off from the laptop to take a break from writing (because if I’m on the laptop, where my story is, there is the nagging feeling that I must edit). Looking forward to reading all the interviews!

    November 22, 2013 at 10:27 pm

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